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8th of Flamerule, Into Turelve

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8th of Flamerule, Into Turelve

Post  Magyc on Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:14 pm

16 days and counting. That is how long it had been since Jennelith and the others had been taken by the Illithid. 16 days was a long time, but as Torin had pointed out- her fate in the underground was almost certainly already decided. Either she had already been eaten, or she was serving as a slave. Though Jace knew that the Jennilith's life was no more innately value than any of the other captives they liberated, her rescue in particular had special significance. Uncovering the mystery regarding her abduction had been one of the earliest tasks the FOES had been charged with- and one that was still incomplete. In fact most of the group had probably written it off as a lost cause, until the new lead unexpectedly popped up.

So strange, it seemed, that the same group that had come to a consensus almost two weeks ago that time was of the essence and the attempt to rescue Jennelith must be made without delay, had now decided that deliberate and careful planning was now the way to go. The facts were clear however, and the situation had changed. No longer did they face a gang of orcs, (a problem they had dealt efficiently with in the past). Dealing with an Illithid was an entire matter altogether.The architect of the entire abduction enterprise was revealed, and they had been lucky to discover its identity from an eyewitness, rather than meeting it face to face unprepared. Waiting a few more days to make sure the rescue attempt had the best possible chance of success was completely logical, and in this instance, the Foes seemed to be in agreement.

Already the time they had spent preparing had paid dividends. Through mental discipline and gritted teeth he had been able to identify a number of magical items that would make a real difference in combat (the group had seemed much more pleased with the results of his labors this time- unlike the last time when most of the weapons he had labored to identify went unclaimed into the treasury, to be sold off later.) He himself had a fancy new magical cloak with a few surprises in it. And during his focused exertions during the rigorous multiple castings of the Identify spell, he realized a mental breakthrough and felt confident enough to began transcribing the third circle spells he had been accumulating into his own spellbook. He knew several of the others were also practicing advanced tactics in their respective professions as well...he had every confidence they were going to be a much more formidable group when they ventured back into the underground in just a short time later.

As they approached the outskirts of Turelve he reflected on the most efficient way to accomplish what they needed to do. A delegation should be sent to the Tower mages to find out what they would be willing to share about combatting an Illithid. Previous visitors to the Tower were himself, Cleander, and Darya (he winced involuntarily after remembering the events that had led to her visiting the tower alone). He would have to find out if she wished to visit the Tower with him, or if she would be busy with her Lathanderian contact Redleaf. It would probably be best to have one physical fighter go with him (with pretty much included any other member of the group) so they could get an idea of what might occur during a melee with one of the beast. Perhaps Shoby..?

That thought died abruptly as he grinned to himself. Shoby was a superb bodyguard-During their last visit to Turelve, he must have stared down a dozen people who had seemed to pay a bit too much attention to them- but he would almost certainly irritate the imperious Tower mages with his denial of fawning respect. The mages had certainly gotten under Jace's skin during his last visit to the Tower as well, but he could feign respect and biting politeness as well as any noble, and putting up with that nonsense was certainly worth it if the mages could help them.

He decided he would simply issue a general invitation to the group to accompany him to the Tower. They need not all go to visit the mage he had in mind- as he recalled, the group had negotiated an open invitation to visit Friend Carlos. Probably some of them would be interested in visiting him. It would also be nice if they could check to see if Cleander had made it back to pick up his armor from the smithy- it had been quite some time since they had parted company and they would at least know if he had made it back here.



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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:46 am

"I would be honored to accompany you to visit the wizards of the tower," the paladin smiled warmly, breaking the long silence after Jace made his invitation to the Fellowship at large. That she was the first to accept his offer drew little more than a twitch of discomfort from the mage, which in turn drew a tiny sigh from the young woman.

"Of course, if you wish to go immediately, perhaps someone else might serve you better." Hoping to ease Jace's distress, she opened it up again for another to go in her place. "I must first cleanse myself from the journey and then report to the shrine to see if there are duties there that I am required to attend to."

Darya genuinely liked and respected the elemental wizard very much, yet if she so much as glanced too long in his direction he would nervously avert his gaze. It confused and saddened her. She'd stood up for him on a number of occasions when some of the others would question his usefulness or criticize his casting decisions, but there was some sort of disconnect or misunderstanding there that apparently hadn't been resolved.

Disconnects and misunderstandings, genuine dislike bordering on open contempt... That pretty much summed up Lady Darya's experience with this group and while she'd genuinely tried to forge bonds with many of them early on, it had become apparent that the most advantageous thing she could do was complete this mission that she'd been given and take the quickest ship back to Zelpir.

It would have been easier if there could be respectful discussion on different matters, but it had clearly been proven impossible, though a few exceptions did exist and those she thanked Lathander for. The simple fact of the matter was that there was a mile wide gap in differing moralities and opinions between herself and many members of the Fellowship. She believed that torture and lying and the merciless, honorless slaughter of unarmed opponents was wrong. They believed that those things were acceptable depending on what opponents were being dealt with. What Lady Darya had been taught was that if a man extends honor only to honorable opponents, than there is no honor in him.

Did she like goblins? Nope. Did she like orcs? Even less. This paladin believed that to write an entire race off as evil was a complete injustice. There were always exceptions to every rule, and if a tribe could manage to exist without making trouble for the surrounding settlements, did they not have that right to live? Apparently not if they were deemed vermin.

Killing without thought or question was easy. Convenient. It took far more thought and consideration (and effort!) to stay your weapon and find a more noble solution. Could the cowardly goblins of the New Mire who'd lived outside of Harlaton for two years without issue, have moved peacefully up to the Eel Hold where they had an ample supply of food and space away from neighboring communities? She thought so. Maybe even someday learning to trust the people of Milbourne enough to trade fished up eels for trinkets and shinies that goblins seemed to like. Was that merely hopeful dreaming? Perhaps, but never to take that chance meant nothing would ever change.

Would wiping out entire goblin and orc tribes in the Great Rock Dale, shift the tentative balance that was maintained there, that kept the warring creatures contained and fighting amongst themselves as Kuiper had explained? Darya didn't believe for a second that it was wrong to kill those particular tribes, who had indeed proved themselves to be a threat to innocent lives, but would removing that particular evil cause a greater problem in the long run? She hoped not, but it remained to be seen.

By showing mercy...maybe even a little kindness...to a few female orcs with mewling infants and toddlers, and driving them north away from nearby civilizations, could that have turned a single orcish heart from evil? They'll never know... Darya had wretched her stomach inside out that evening down in the depths after seeing the blood dripping from the little niches that the orc young had fled into, not because of the deaths themselves necessarily, but because she'd just seen firsthand what "goodly" people were capable of.

Killing without thought or question was easy. Convenient.

For two and a half days traveling by barge she'd been alone and tormented with these thoughts. There was more than one reason that she needed to go to the shrine. Darya needed to refocus. The mission she'd been sent to do, to find the evil magics that were divined to be plaguing the Haranshire area, looked like it had hit a very big lead in the discovery of this...mind flayer involvement. In spite of the vitriolic atmosphere, she wanted to see this mission out to the end. To find the root of these kidnappings and stop them. To find Jennelith...

She held out hope that things would improve. Her enlightening discussion with Shoby had forged what she hoped to become a strong understanding of the other. Perhaps even one day a friendship, as unlikely as it may have seemed at first. The memory of the gruff and burly gnome smiling up at her after the revelation of some of the history of his community, shined like a diamond in her mind. That she would hold on to. That gave her hope. There were other positive things too that she tried to look back on when things got especially difficult. Wrestling with Cleander, the drinking game with Riffington, Torin trying to encourage her to face her phobias of the deep dark, to name a few. The paladin determined to hold those memories in the forefront of her mind, for to be drawn in to negative thinking would only serve to breed more negativity, and that was certainly not needed.

Lady Darya snapped back to the present after the storm clouds of conflicting emotions has passed overhead, and she again addressed her companions. "I'll return to the Savory Swallow when my duties with the Dawnlord are finished, to see if anyone about might have need of me," she explained, referring to the inn and tavern that most of the Fellowship chose to stay at while in Turelve. "Otherwise, Szeraal and I will be staying just to the southwest of the city with Shoby, where he'd made his camp on our last visit.

"Until later then," she smiled with a nod to her companions, before turning on her heel and heading off south, first to find a bath, and second toward the shrine and the black sandbar where the behir was likely already sunning himself.

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Shoby

Post  The Sub-Creator on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:52 pm

“You’re welcome at it,” Shoby called out to the departing paladin. “My camp, I mean. You and the Lizard, both! And tell them clerics ta be on their best behavior or there’ll be the hells ta pay!”

The surly gnome then addressed the mage. “Count me out. Little ‘nough inside that city appeals ta me, and goin’ ta see some high brow mages ain’t rankin’ on my list o’ things ta do. I’ll be settin’ up camp where the Lady Paladin made mention. Feel free ta let me know if there’s anything important in need of immediate attention.”

Shoby situated Lady a little more comfortably at his hip and started off, raising a farewell hand into the air for his companions without bothering to look back. Now that they were off the barge, and he was capable of stoking a hot fire, he figured to get cracking on molding warheads and shuriken until the time came for their return to Milbourne.

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Re: 8th of Flamerule, Into Turelve

Post  xarhelm on Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:41 am

"I suppose I shall go with you Jace!"

Nas knew it would come to this. He was the only one who did not wish to kill every mage the party came across on sight. Although in all fairness Shobi seemed to want to kill every human he met on sight.

"I want all the information I can gather on this Illithid. How it fights any allies it might have and howto free those it enslaves."

This past week had been tough. He did not understand the "morality" of the others who claimed to have it. We will track a human for days because we suspect they may be involved in kidnapping but Orcs who have dined on the flesh of his kin should be spared. Nas supported their new companions efforts to root out all the Orcs and he still did. Perhaps if they found parts of Jennilith attached to the Chieftan and Shamans they would have felt differently but he doubted it. Driving the Orcs North was a Nieve idea at best. They would either be taken into another tribe in which the males would be killed and the women enslaved or they would become someone elses problem and killed. Neither solution was any better than the others. Either way it was a death sentance. They had all been raised on the taste of humanoid flesh and similar to beasts once that taste is developed it never goes away.

"So I shall go with Jace to the tower, any and all others are welcome. After which I have some things I need to take care of in town. At which point I will return to the inn everyone stayed in the last time we came here. When do we intend to leave?"
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Re: 8th of Flamerule, Into Turelve

Post  Magyc on Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:08 pm

"Thank you, Nas. I think we should depart for the Tower now, as there is no guarantee these mecurial mages will "deign" to see us immediately. The one I see an audience with would be less likely to approve a large group, but anyone else who came with us could check on the status of Friend Carlos."

The group then split, and Jace, Nas and the rest of the Tower-visitors traversed the city to the dock, and secured barge passage to the Tower island. After arriving, they proceeded to the entrance they had used in their previous visit, and asked the guard if they could obtain an audience with Eltarias (for Nas and himself) and with Aspik (for those who wished to visit friend Carlos).

After a lengthy wait, approval was sent down for a meeting. Nas and Jace proceeded up to meet him. As they entered his chamber, Jace made sure to deliver a greeting marked with equal measures of respect and flattery. "Greetings, Eltarias. We are grateful that you have made time for us to speak with you. I recall the assistance you lent me the last time I was here was extremely valuable, and I wished to prevail upon your vast experience for assistance in another dire problem we face."

He then started relating the reasons for this visit. "We began by investigating the abduction of Jennelith, a young apprentice to the mage Toster in Thurmaster. We later discovered that kidnappings were happening across the region-and it seemed like the targets were people of higher intelligence or stature in the community," (then quickly thinking of some of the individuals they had rescued) "although they also seemed to take whoever they could get. No ransoms were issued, and no traces could be found."

"We finally tracked them down after a fresh kidnapping to find who we thought were the perpetrators- a group of bandits led by priests of Loviator. After we dispatched them we discovered that the bandits had been delivering some prisoners to a large band of orcs. We tracked the orcs underground and eliminated that threat, only to find that the orcs had been delivering the prisoners to an Illithid- who may be the final architect of this scheme."

"At that point, we decided rather than following the creature further underground, we would exit and regroup. I know little of such creatures beyond some mentions at my academy. My companions and I are preparing to track it down, rescue whichever prisoners still remain alive, and end these abductions permanently. What we seek are the details of what these creatures are capable of. How many might we expect to encounter? Are there any magical means available to shield us from their mental attacks?"

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Eltarias

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:07 am

Eltarias looked quizzically at the shorter mage. "Illithid?" He paused. Dealing with powerful creatures such as this were always tricky ventures. The words he chose next would either help them overcome, or spur them into the abyss. He carefully weighed what he knew. With the paladin, they had been able to do much. They had not even lost any one of their number in combat. It is quite possible that they were indeed capable. Or lucky...

"An Illithid is a creature of great intelligence, but an intelligence that is far unique to this world. Its magic, if you can call it that, is different than the magic of this world. Because it is not of this world. Scholars believe that the Illithids actually come from the Far Realm. A place that exists beyond time. For any here to even look at that chaotic place would scramble his intelligence and reduce them to slavering idiots.

"They can project a cone shaped area of chaotic thought that will send any non Illithid reeling for several minutes. They are also good at activities that mimic charm spells and shifting between planes. Any spells that protect your mind should help. Beware them travelling in packs, because it only intensifies their power, and do be careful. The only Illithids that do not work as a group achieve a sort of power that can rival a lich."

He finished his lecture by trailing off the last sentence. He was truly interested in what the reaction of the two that stand before him. Were they really made of the sterner stuff of heroes? Or would they, like many before them with delusions of grandeur, meet their doom in the deep places of the world.
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Re: 8th of Flamerule, Into Turelve

Post  xarhelm on Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:05 am

Nas paid special attention to every word the mage offered but one word in particular caught his attention, Lich.

"Lich?! These creatures can be undead? Do they have the same weaknesses as other lich? This changes things a great deal. This will be a most powerful enemy.


Keeping a very careful control of his undisguised hatred of undead Nas turned to Jace.

"We maybe in for more than we can handle and emerge unscathed. There is a very real chance we may lose a comrad or possibly more in this fight. I believe we should allow each member of the fellowship to decide if they wish to continue against this foul creature. I do not believe any will choose to leave but I cannot blame them if they do. I for one am now bound to destroy this creature with or without the group."

The elf the turned to their host to address him further.

"Master Eltarias, I will need any and all information you can share about these creatures. Even if it seems only to be rumor or myth. I would also like to speak with an enchanter if you have on available I have an idea that may help but would like to do more research on the illithid before I am sure it will help. I will of course compensate the tower for its time and efforts as it deems reasonable. If this is acceptable I shall give you time to gather the information and will return tomorrow morning if that gives you enough time. There is much I feel we need to do in a short time. The information you have already provided will be of great use and I thank you in advance for any additional help you can provide."

Nas waited for the Mage's response to his requests before turning back to Jace.

"I must take my leave I have much I need to accomplish before I return here to study all the information that the tower has available on the illithids. I suggest you try to learn as much as you can while here."

With that Nas bowed slightly to the to mages thanking them for their assistance. He left the room quietly and respectfully but broke out into a run upon exciting the tower. He knew time was short so he did not bother to wait for the ferry back rather mid run he whispered the word "nightterror" and becoming a bat flew off towards the markets.
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